The Westmorland GazetteWestminister to showcase Cumbria as one of UK's 'manufacturing growth hotspots' (From The Westmorland Gazette)

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Westminister to showcase Cumbria as one of UK's 'manufacturing growth hotspots'

CUMBRIA is one of the UK’s hotspots for the growth in manufacturing, according to a new report.

The county is undergoing a production revolution that has made it the fourth fastest-growing sub-region in the UK, the Makers and Shakers document claims.

The report, which is described as Cumbria's 'attack plan for manufacturing and growth', is being unveiled as part of a showcase of the county's enterprise at Westminster tomorrow (Wednesday).

Organisers hope the event will ‘help cement Cumbria's growing reputation’ as a leading UK hotspot for advanced manufacturing opportunities alongside its long celebrated tourism and agricultural sectors.

The event is being organised by Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership and it is being supported by Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron and Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock.

Mr Farron said Business Secretary Vince Cable was supporting this event and had asked government ministers to attend.

The MP said: "At the meeting I will be calling for the Government to back my idea for South Lakeland to become a ‘hydro hub’. I want to bring together businesses like Gilkes, green businesses and the University of Cumbria to create a centre of excellence in our area that is known throughout the world.”

Five other Cumbrian MPs and local business leaders will complete the party which will bring the county’s manufacturing success story to the attention of government business minister Michael Fallon MP and shadow minister for manufacturing, Iain Wright MP.

The group will also seek assistance from the Government in overcoming some obstacles to further improve the companies’ potential to compete on a world stage.

Cumbria Enterprise Partnership chairman and Sellafield Ltd deputy managing director George Beveridge said: “Advanced manufacturing is one of four key growth priorities highlighted in our new economic strategy for Cumbria.

“It's a little known fact, particularly outside Cumbria, that this sector is 25 per cent of our economy and we see great potential for economic growth and jobs through encouraging exports and supply chain development around our indigenous nuclear and submarine programmes.”

Mr Woodcock said: “A new industrial revolution has been taking place across Cumbria over recent years with the potential for even greater growth in prized areas like energy, bio-pharmaceuticals and cutting edge defence manufacturing jobs. This is an exciting time for our industries - we need to fly the flag and also enlist support to tackle barriers to reaching our potential.”

Companies highlighted in the report include drugs maker GSK, Ulverston; BAE Systems, Barrow; and James Cropper plc, Burneside.

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